Atlas globe corrugated
Photo credit: John Nguyen/PA Wire

Imposing cardboard statue of Atlas unveiled to urge Britons to recycle

Sustainable packaging campaign Beyond the Box created a  corrugated cardboard sculpture depicting Ancient Greek figure, Atlas, and his fabled globe. This is to mark Global Recycling Day 2019 (Monday 18th March).

Crafted from 420 layers of double flute corrugated cardboard, the impressive seven-foot, 80kg sculpture took 175 pain-staking hours to create. It was unveiled in central London this morning, to the surprise of passing commuters.

A well-known symbol of Greek mythology, Atlas was responsible for bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. The new cardboard creation was revealed as a stark reminder that this responsibility now rests with us all.

The imposing cardboard figure was unveiled as research shows two in three Britons feel ‘worried’ about packaging. 2.7 million people* admit packaging is the ‘biggest concern’ in their lives.

Beyond The Box

Beyond the Box spokesperson Andy Barnetson explains. “With the constant stream of news stories and shocking images fuelling public concern about the environmental impact of packaging, it’s no wonder many Britons feel as though the weight of the world is on their shoulders. But it’s important to remember that not all packaging is created equal.

“We decided to create this impressive tribute to Atlas to demonstrate the weighty responsibility we all bear when it comes to making simple, sustainable choices. Whether that’s prioritising recycling, or choosing sustainable packaging solutions like cardboard.

“The growing focus on sustainable packaging solutions means demand for cardboard is building. During 2018, Britain produced enough additional cardboard to cover the area of 29,000 football pitches (560 pitches for every week of the year.) And the best thing about this is that it’s all recyclable.

“It’s great to see that supermarkets, shops on the high street and online retailers are all responding to public demand for sustainable packaging options. Corrugated cardboard fits the bill because it’s recyclable, renewable and re-useable.

“With a recycling rate of over 80%, cardboard has the best UK recycling record of any packaging material. In fact, through recycling, valuable paper fibres are reused again and again – between 7 and 9 times.

“So, while it might feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, Global Recycling Day is a great reminder that we need to work together. We need to encourage one another to make sustainable choices. On this year’s Global Recycling Day we’re calling on the British public to give some extra thought to reducing their household waste – and make recycling a priority.”

Notes to Editors

  • Cardboard production has risen by 2.1% in the last year – with an increase of 83 million more square meters produced in 2018 vs 2017.
  • Total UK production of corrugated cardboard in 2018 was equivalent to almost three quarters of a million – or 746,078 – Premiership football pitches over the year. That’s 14,000 pitches per week or 2,000 per day. In 2018, the UK corrugated cardboard industry made an area the size of the Wembley Stadium football pitch every 28.8 seconds
  • Research Data: Censuswide, 2,008 nationally representative survey of UK adults, 16th May 2018

Research from Beyond the Box also reveals that two in three consumers are worried about packaging. While for 2.7 million Britons, packaging is the ‘biggest’ concern in their lives.
The UK adult population is 50,909,000. Those who believe packaging is their biggest concern = 2,698,177

About Beyond the Box
Bringing together experts from leading UK packaging companies, Beyond the Box, launched by the Confederation of Paper Industries, helps Britons learn more about the nation’s sustainable packaging choice: Cardboard.

For more information, including spokesperson requests, please contact Rob Waldon or Sophie Menzies at Richmond & Towers Communications: /

020 7388 7421